“Indeed, auditing is an integral part of any tax agency worth its salt, and the fact that government would pay a company millions of cedis to do what it already does give the impression that the contract was contrived to siphon money from the government fiscus into private pockets.”
It has now emerged that the Technical Committee set up by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Seth Terpker, to investigate the award of a contract, and the controversial payment of GH75 million to Subah Infosolution by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), had, as many as, three staff members of Subah sitting on the committee.
They are Adokarloey Okpotie Panto, Redeemer Kwame, and Felix Steve Quaico.
The GRA, a body which was also accused in the award of the contract and the subsequent payment, was also represented by Messrs Anthony, and Eric Nii Boye Mensah.
Interestingly, the telecom companies, which were accused of frustrating Subah from plugging its gadgets into their physical nodes, were not represented.
The committee, headed by Dr. Edward Larbi Siaw from the Ministry of Finance, did not also interview the telecom companies before coming out with its final report, which has been accepted by the government.
Meanwhile, both the President and Finance Minister had earlier raised doubts over the genuineness of the contract, a suspicion which compelled Mr. Seth Terkper to suspend further payments to Subah. But the committee, in its report, has rubbished the earlier suspicion by the Presidency.”
“On the setting aside of the agreement, the committee concluded that the service agreement is a valid contract and cannot be set aside. The committee’s decision was based on, among other things, the legitimacy and capacity of the Board Chairman (GRA) to sign such a contract,” the Committee noted in its report.
Prior to the publication of the contentious report by the tTechnical Committee, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, who is now an Economic Advisor to the President, had raised the red flag over the mode for the award of the contract, and wondered whether it was even necessary for the GRA to award such a contract in the first place?
“But there is also a fundamental question of whether in the face of limited and shrinking financial resources, this was the best way to spend public money, even under competitive bidding: Contract a company to do what the GRA’s audit department is mandated to do, and has been doing anyway. Indeed, auditing is an integral part of any tax agency worth its salt, and the act that government would pay a company millions of cedis to do what it already does, gives the impression that the contract was contrived to siphon money from the government fiscus into private pockets,” Dr. Nii Moi Thompson wrote in his article headed Subah Reloaded.
Under the contract, Subah was supposed to connect to the physical nodes of the telecom companies to monitor revenues that are posed to be paid by the telecos, but this was not done.
The Committee, however, noted that this part of the contract was not fulfilled, because the telecom companies did not give Subah access to their facilities.
According to the Committee, Subah was taking a CD Rom from the National Communication Authority (NCA), which it analyze to determine the revenue due the state from the telcos.
The Chronicle sources within the telcos, however, noted that the CD ROM Subah claimed to have analyzed, recorded only international traffic, and not the Communication Service Tax (CST).
Another source at the NCA also tells The Chronicle that no CD ROM was officially released to Subah to analyze, as claimed by the Committee.